Thursday, 26 January 2012

GSI Halulite Minimalist Ultralight Cookset Review

As I look forward to Kiwi Brevet, I have been tweaking and lightening my kit for both Bikepacking and Tramping applications.

Unfortunately while this cookset has some excellent ideas, it didn’t quite reach my expectations.

 

The minimalist set is designed to operate as a billy by being made of cooking grade anodized aluminium, with the addition of a neoprene sleeve and a sipper lid to turn it into a mug. It also comes with a foldable spork (or foon?) and is designed to be able to enclose a small butane burner with a 110g canister as a single tight cooking package.

 

 

The weigh-in according to the manufacturer, and my independent but not certified as calibrated scales:

 

Item Claimed My scales
600ml billy 92g 100g
Sipper lid 42g 44g
Neoprene sleeve 20g 24g
Silicone pot gripper 14g 12g
Spork/Foon 9g 9g
  177g 189g

 

What I like:

  • Single integrated and adaptable package
  • Large mug is good for social cups of tea
  • Neoprene sleeve works well (and also reduces rattling when placed inside other items)
  • Fairly inexpensive
  • The silicone pot gripper is very functional and could be used for other hot items too – e.g. move pot stands or other peoples pots.

What I didn’t like:

  • Because the anodised aluminium stays hotter than the contents, without the sipper lid it is too hot for my lips
  • While the sipper may keep a drink hot for longer, it doesn’t have the same ambience of a cup of billy tea in the outdoors
  • The lid it too heavy (nearly half the weight of the function pot!)
  • Couldn’t bring myself to depend on the reliability of foldable/ and gimmicky spork/foon
  • Not so “ultralight:” – I have a 1 litre billy with handles that weights 117g. This billy is 40% smaller, and with the silicone gripper only saves 5g.

What could be improved:

  • A silicone or plastic ring or sleeve around the rim would address many of the things I don’t like about this set – providing the user kept the flames away from the rim. It would eliminate the need for the sipper lid, neoprene sleeve and pot-gripper which would bring it down toward 100g.
  • More solid cutlery, a straight spoon would suffice.

Bottom-line:

Hard to knock something for a soft issue like ‘ambience’, so if drinking a cup of tea at a campsite with a takeaway coffee cup feeling does not disturb you, and you want something solid and light then this set may work well for you. If not, there are some great ideas in this set to borrow to either customise this kit or another that you may already own.